Press release – August 10 2018
New “one stop” cancer clinic means speedier diagnosis and treatment
Patients undergoing tests for a range of urological diseases, including cancer, are set to benefit from new state-of-the-art equipment which will mean a diagnosis and a decision on treatment within hours instead of weeks.
The hospital’s urology department has been looking to improve and advance the service it provides to Herefordshire and the surrounding counties’ patients.
In 2015, assisted by the Cheltenham-based charity ROBOCAP, the department was able to complete the first step towards streamlining the service by purchasing an ultrasound machine and stepper unit used during a prostate biopsy.
The trans-perineal Template Biopsy Service was introduced for men with a raised Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). PSA is a protein produced by normal cells in the prostate and also by prostate cancer cells. A raised PSA level may indicate a problem with a prostate, but not necessarily cancer.
The Template Biopsy allows a large number of tissue samples to be obtained from different parts of the prostate, improving the detection of small cancers compared with other biopsy methods. The process uses ultrasound to guide the biopsy; fusing it with MRI images.
David Sparrey, Trustee of ROBOCAP, said: “The new service will undoubtedly be of huge benefit to urology patients and give a more timely diagnosis. We are very pleased to continue to be involved with the purchase of new equipment for the department.”
To complete the service, the team can now offer a one-stop clinic for both male and female patients, providing an enhanced assessment for the early diagnosis of all urological problems including cancers, meaning that patients will be seen and receive same day diagnostic tests in clinic with the diagnosis made and treatment decided there and then in the majority of cases; this will see waiting times cut and early treatment and save patients multiple trips to hospitals as well as reducing the anxiety of waiting for treatment.
Previously patients would have endured several weeks of various appointments before getting a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Representatives from ROBOCAP, local fundraisers, The Merry Millers and the Mayor of Hereford, Councillor Sue Boulter, visited Hereford County Hospital last week to officially open the clinic and see the new equipment.
Ian Pugh and his daughter Janey Cotton, founder members of charity The Merry Millers who have given more than £90,000 to local good causes since starting their fundraising activities in 2012, said: “We feel really proud and a little emotional today seeing the equipment and hearing how it will save time, thus relieving anxiety for the patient and that we have contributed to this. It’s fantastic for the people of Herefordshire.”
“The service will cut down the patient's diagnostic journey without compromising safety and quality,” said Mr Mehmood Akhtar, Consultant Urologist for the Trust. He added: “I would like to thank all those involved for their generosity to make this possible. The urology department is fully committed to leading the trust in developing and reorganising services, which are cost effective, efficient, safe and patient friendly.”
Pictured left to right are: Urology Clinical Fellow Jonathan Cobley, Urology CNS Jessica Williams, Consultant Urologist Wasim Mahmalji, CNS Stacey Turner, Consultant Urologist Christian Nayer, Consultant Urologist Mehmood Akhtar, The Mayor of Hereford Councillor Susan Boulter, Janey Cotton, Ian Pugh and Martin Evans from The Merry Millers, David Sparrey from ROBOCAP, WVT Managing D Jane Ives and Howard Pitts from ROBOCAP.
Note to editors:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is the provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £160 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928 or Katie Farmer, Fundraiser 01432 364078